Grains as Antioxidant Foods

5 Different Types of Grains

Grain crops or cereal crops are mainly "grass" plants grown for their grains.

Red Corn
Yellow Corn

Examples are:

  • Barley
  • Corn
  • Millets
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Triticale
  • Wheat

What is Whole Grain?

Whole grain refers to the kernel of the grain, which is made up of 3 parts:

1) the bran - the outer part of the kernel, and is multi-layered

Nutrition wise, it contains antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin B

2) the endosperm - the first inner part of the kernel

Nutrition wise, it contains starchy carbohydrates, and small amounts of protein and minerals.

3) the germ - the second inner part of the kernel, embedded in the endosperm.

Nutrition wise, it contains Vitamin B, protein, minerals and fats (good fats).

Refined Grain Products

Essentially, the refining process removes the bran and the germ, resulting in the loss of approximately 25% of the nutrients, including 17 key nutrients.

Brown rice is the whole grain, while white rice is its refined version.

Different Types of Rice

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye
  • triticale

People who are not able to digest this protein or have trouble digesting this protein are termed gluten intolerant.

Celiac disease is a form of auto immune disease from gluten intolerance.

Grains' Main Nutrients

Depending on the grains ... in general, grains have one or a combination of the following nutrients:

  • Antioxidant:  Polyphenols, Selenium,
  • Other:             Protein, Fiber, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Vitamin B

Interesting stuff on Grains

Native to:

Different grains comes from different parts of the world.

  • Barley - Western Asia, Northeast Africa
  • Corn - Mexico
  • Millets - Semi-arid tropics areas of Asia and Africa
  • Wheat - Southwstern Asia

Now Found/Grown in:

Grains, like many plants have "migrated" to be grown in other parts of the world, but due to that they usually are grown in large areas as crops, and also tendency to need to have "climate suitability", their "migration" is not as wide as some other plants.

Sometimes known as Grains

The following are sometimes referred to as grains, due to their looks resembling grains, or in cooking treated more like grains, etcetera:

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Wheat Germ

For the purposes of classification, they are considered seeds, and are included in "Antioxidant Seeds" section.

Examples of Health Benefits of Grains

Depending on the type of grains ... in general, the health benefits of the grains could be one or a combinations of the following:

  • Reduce risks of stroke
  • Reduce risks of heart disease
  • Control blood sugar, especially helpful for Type 2 diabetes 
  • Reduce risk of cancer (in particular colorectal cancer)
  • Help regulate blood pressure
  • Help in prevention of gum disease
  • For weight management

Some Precaution

For those who are gluten intolerant, do note that grains contain gluten.

As replacement food similar to grains which are gluten free, some folks have used:

  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa

Riceberry, a cross-bred rice, known for its antioxidant properties
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